Frequently Asked Questions

About the merger creating Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio

What is Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio?

BGCNEO is the result of a merger between the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, Erie County (Sandusky), Lorain County and the Western Reserve (Akron). The boards of those organizations voted to merge effective July 1, 2019. In addition to the four Clubs, the new organization includes former BGCC subsidiaries Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance and Open Arts (formerly known as Open Tone Music).

What will the new organization look like?

The merging Clubs currently have a total of 36 locations in four counties: Cuyahoga, Erie, Lorain and Summit. Together, they now serve nearly 8,500 kids, employ 334 people and have a total budget of about $11 million.

Why a merger?

By merging, we believe we can generate the kind of regional support that will allow us to serve more kids with even deeper programming. Our goal is to double the number of kids we serve in the region. The merger will also enable us to scale our best practices, streamline operations and be more cost-efficient. A study of Clubs that have merged in the past five years showed those organizations saw a 21 percent increase in the number of youth served and a 29 percent increase in total revenue.

How will the merger impact the level of giving currently received by the Clubs?

The larger, united, regional presence will attract the attention of private and public companies, including the largest grant-making entities. Currently, the individual Clubs are not maximizing those opportunities.

Who will be the CEO of the new organization?

Ron Soeder has been appointed interim president and CEO. He will remain in that capacity while the organization and Boys & Girls Clubs of America conduct a search for a permanent president and CEO. Ron Soeder became president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland 13 years ago after spending nearly three decades as a senior executive in the consumer products industry. He has forged strong partnerships with a wide range of organizations, including the Cleveland Municipal School District, neighborhood groups, local governments, companies, professional sports teams and the arts community. In 2018, he received BGCA’s highest honor, the Heart and Soul Award, for his dedication to the kids who need us most.

Will there still be a Boys & Girls Clubs of ———?

Yes. Each of the four Clubs will retain its individual identity.

Can I target where my donation will be used?

Yes. You can place whatever restrictions or limitations you want on your donation. For example, if you specifically want your funds to serve the youth of Lorain County, BGCNEO will make sure to limit its use to that geographic area.

If I donate to BGCNEO, where will the money go and how will it be used?

General donations will be used to support BGCNEO’s mission of serving youth in the region.

What will happen to the current grants and donations that have already been received by the Clubs?

Each Club will continue to honor grant agreements and their respective reporting and renewal requirements.

Will the new organization have its own board? And what about the boards currently governing the four merging Clubs?

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio will be governed by a board initially containing four representatives from each of the four of the merging organizations. This board will ultimately have 25 members. The existing local boards will take on an advisory, rather than a fiduciary, role. Those board members will help develop strategy, define the needs of the community and become the voice of the local market. Members will champion, invest and invite. These boards will be Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland Board of Advisors; Boys & Girls Clubs of Erie County Board of Advisors; Boys & Girls Clubs of Lorain County Board of Advisors; and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve Board of Advisors.

What will happen with current employees?

No layoffs are anticipated as a result of the merger. The larger organizational footprint means employees will have more opportunities for promotions and/or to fill openings. Employees will continue to report to their current supervisors as Ron Soeder and the new board start developing an organizational chart.

Where will Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio be headquartered?

That has not been determined. Along with finding a new president and CEO, it is one of the issues that will be tackled by the new board.